9mm bullet weights for steel

argyle64

New Member
So I've decided to order a case of 147gr 9mm. My question is: Do the 147gr FMJ Winchester Super - X Subsonic rounds have enough punch to them to knock down steel at a Steel Challenge? Or do I need to look at 115gr or 124gr rounds?
 

argyle64

New Member
I posted this in another forum by accident and should've posted here. So I've decided to order a case of 147gr 9mm. My question is: Do the 147gr FMJ Winchester Super - X Subsonic rounds have enough punch to them to knock down steel at a Steel Challenge? Or do I need to look at 115gr or 124gr rounds?
 

Ksmirk

New Member
Back when I had a 9mm a LONG TIME AGO I always shot the 147's never had a lick of trouble knocking steel over. Think of it this way, would you rather be hit by a BB at 1000fps or a bowling ball at 300fps? Later,

Kirk
 

Rustyzx9

Founding Member
I don't think you knock steel down at Steel Challenge... Regular steel at USPSA matches is supposed to be calibrated for factory 9mm ammo anyway, so I think 147 grain ammo would be fine.
 

Jefpainthorse

Fill in the Blank
115 pings a hanging plate mighty fine... knocks down
knock=down steel too... sometimes you have to hit the right spot on some steel targets to make those fall.
 

argyle64

New Member
Back when I had a 9mm a LONG TIME AGO I always shot the 147's never had a lick of trouble knocking steel over. Think of it this way, would you rather be hit by a BB at 1000fps or a bowling ball at 300fps? Later,

Kirk
Your example is why I always carried a .45 on duty and I should've known the answer. Just go to a bowling alley to see a prime example of it. I bowled league from high school until I was 21. My 16lb ball at 8 mph would knock down more pins than the 8lb thrown at 14 mph.
 

Ksmirk

New Member
I just read this and Steel Challenge you don't knock over steel you just gotta hit the plates :)
 

argyle64

New Member
I was curious about that. On the county range during rifle school, we couldn't knock down the pepper poppers with our 5.56 because the wind was too strong.
 

Wall

El Diablo
Staff member
Nothing is going to knock down the steel at Steel Challenge, they're ringing targets not falling.
 

poopgiggle

B Class Nobody
Nothing is going to knock down the steel at Steel Challenge, they're ringing targets not falling.
OMG this is why BoomerShooter can't have nice things.

JT had the right idea. Keep stringing him along with things like "to knock THOSE things over you'd need some hot 10mm AT LEAST" and "I hit one of the close plates on Smoke and Hope 8 times with a 45 once and all it did was ding!"

I get that this is a nice forum for nice people and that we shouldn't be outright mean to each other but this was an obvious good-natured-practical-joke situation.
 

drmitchgibson

The white Morgan Freeman
I've made a share of uninformed inquiries and statements. Laughter isn't the best medicine, but it's pretty damn good.

On the subject of bullet weight, I did move to a 124gr projectiles in a ploy to guaranty knocking down poppers. It was a bad plan with no foundation other than a lazy half-assed guess. 115gr is just fine, and has more energy.
 

argyle64

New Member
Yeah, see where I come from you have to knock over the steel target to count. Now I know at Steel Challenges I just need to make a ping. And knowing is half the battle.
 

The Antichrome

Moderator
Ok, ok. jokes aside...remember that Boomershooter is a great place for newbs to get info.
Lets keep the ribbing to a minimum.

Now, for the serious answer.
As long as your ammo meets the power factor requirement for whatever type of competition you're shooting...it should work fine.
USPSA for instance has a Minor PF floor of 125... and 125pf is 125pf no matter whether you're using 147's, 125's, 124's, 115's
(I use 130's)
The ProAm, which doesnt have calibration and requires steel to fall, recommends 125pf as well.
Steel Challenge has a minimum velocity requirement, IIRC, its 750fps. (I'm not up to date on SC rules, so I may off a bit on that one)

So, run the bullet weight that you prefer.
 

poopgiggle

B Class Nobody
Mitch Gibson said:
On the subject of bullet weight, I did move to a 124gr projectiles in a ploy to guaranty knocking down poppers. It was a bad plan with no foundation other than a lazy half-assed guess. 115gr is just fine, and has more energy.
I've always wondered about the effect of different bullet weights at the same PF on steel. PF measures momentum, but since the collision between a bullet and falling steel is partially elastic there should be SOME benefit to using higher-energy bullets. However I've shot plate racks with 115gr, 124gr, and 147gr bullets and the only time they haven't gone down quickly was when I was running minimum loads that were so light that they didn't lock the slide back on my P6.

I have a feeling that if, instead of fussing about the optimal bullet weight, we used that time to dry-fire practice it would have a more noticeable effect on how well we knock down steel.
 

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